fun·​nel | \ ˈfə-nᵊl How to pronounce funnel (audio) \

Definition of funnel

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a utensil that is usually a hollow cone with a tube extending from the smaller end and that is designed to catch and direct a downward flow
b : something shaped like a funnel
2 : a stack or flue for the escape of smoke or for ventilation (as on a ship)


funneled also funnelled; funneling also funnelling

Definition of funnel (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to have or take the shape of a funnel
2 : to pass through or as if through a funnel or conduit the crowd funnels through the doors

transitive verb

1 : to form in the shape of a funnel funneled his hands and shouted through them
2 : to move to a focal point or into a conduit or central channel contributions were funneled into one account

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Synonyms for funnel

Synonyms: Verb

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Examples of funnel in a Sentence

Noun the funnel cloud of a tornado Verb Winds funneled through the canyon. Smoke funneled up the chimney. The crowd funneled through the doors. He funneled the gas into the tank. They funneled money into the campaign. The information was being secretly funneled to the head of the organization.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun For its third-season premiere, 9-1-1 is wiping out the Santa Monica Pier with a massive tsunami — and firefighter Buck (Oliver Stark) is among those dropping the funnel cake and running for dear life. Tim Stack,, "9-1-1 shot in the same water tanks as Titanic for its season 3 tsunami," 22 Sep. 2019 An area of spray surrounds the column of water, from the strength of the funnel lifting water from the surface. Laura Johnston,, "Waterspouts pop up in Lake Erie; forecast calls for more possible," 7 Aug. 2019 Here's a picture of the funnel reported in the Kersey, Platteville, and LaSalle area in Weld County. Elise Schmelzer, The Denver Post, "Three funnel clouds reported in Weld County though meteorologists say there’s little potential for tornadoes," 23 June 2019 Tornadoes are vertical funnels of rapidly spinning air. Ron Johnson, National Geographic, "THE BEST OF NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC DELIVERED TO YOUR INBOX," 28 Aug. 2019 But freedom’s just another word for your dad slipping you a $20 for funnel cake. Alexis Soloski, New York Times, "When the Creepy Carnival Comes to Town," 12 Aug. 2019 The funnel took place near Grand Lake, west of Rocky Mountain National Park. Chris Bianchi, The Denver Post, "Rare funnel cloud spotted near Rocky Mountain National Park," 25 July 2019 The 142-foot, 700-ton rocket rose on a funnel of fire, ripping through the air perfectly straight and surprisingly fast before vanishing into a thick bank of clouds. Hari Kumar,, "India launches Chandrayaan-2 moon mission on second try," 22 July 2019 Seed/early-stage VCs should widen the funnel of entrepreneurial ventures receiving funding support. Leonard Sherman, WIRED, "'Blitzscaling' Is Choking Innovation—and Wasting Money," 11 July 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Parnas and Fruman were arrested at Dulles Airport last month and indicted for allegedly running an unrelated scheme to funnel foreign money to Republican causes and candidates. Simon Shuster, Time, "Exclusive: CEO of Ukraine State Gas Firm Preparing to Testify in Giuliani Probe," 22 Nov. 2019 As a result states, cities and other public bodies are being forced to funnel ever more into pension schemes. The Economist, "Public pensions are woefully underfunded," 16 Nov. 2019 When the jet stream dips south and creates a trough, this allows cold, polar air to funnel southward. NBC News, "That Arctic blast hitting the U.S.? There's a wavy jet stream to blame.," 12 Nov. 2019 Parnas and Fruman were arrested and charged earlier this month by federal prosecutors in New York with using front companies to funnel foreign money to campaigns in violation of U.S. law. Steven Lemongello,, "Florida GOP postpones annual Statesman’s Dinner in Orlando," 28 Oct. 2019 The Keystone XL pipeline, if completed, would transport oil sands from Canada down to the Gulf Coast, to be funneled into the region’s refineries. Nick Martin, The New Republic, "The Connection Between Pipelines and Sexual Violence," 15 Oct. 2019 Again, the idea behind this provision is similar to the one underlying the foreign clause: the Framers didn’t want any part of the government, or any state, trying to influence the President by funnelling money to him. Jeffrey Toobin, The New Yorker, "Trump’s Plan to Host the G-7 Revives the Issue of Emoluments," 5 Sep. 2019 For the past decade, though, Florida legislators have violated the spirit of the Sadowski Act by funneling housing funds to other areas of government. Mary Shanklin,, "Chipping away at Central Florida's housing needs isn't enough," 28 Apr. 2018 When forced to choose between parks, congress funneled funds into Yellowstone and removed Platt’s national park designation. National Geographic, "Beat the crowds at these abandoned U.S. national parks," 9 Nov. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'funnel.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of funnel


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1594, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

History and Etymology for funnel


Middle English fonel, from Anglo-French fonyle, from Old Occitan fonilh, from Medieval Latin fundibulum, short for Latin infundibulum, from infundere to pour in, from in- + fundere to pour — more at found

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Time Traveler for funnel

Time Traveler

The first known use of funnel was in the 15th century

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Statistics for funnel

Last Updated

15 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Funnel.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 7 December 2019.

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More Definitions for funnel


How to pronounce funnel (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of funnel

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a device shaped like a hollow cone with a tube extending from the point
: something that is shaped like a funnel
: a large pipe on a ship through which smoke or steam comes out



English Language Learners Definition of funnel (Entry 2 of 2)

: to pass through a funnel or a narrow opening
: to send (something, such as money) to someone or something in usually an indirect or secret way


fun·​nel | \ ˈfə-nᵊl How to pronounce funnel (audio) \

Kids Definition of funnel

1 : a utensil usually shaped like a hollow cone with a tube extending from the point and used to catch and direct a downward flow
2 : a large pipe for the escape of smoke or for ventilation (as on a ship)


fun·​nel | \ ˈfən-ᵊl How to pronounce funnel (audio) \

Medical Definition of funnel

: a utensil that is usually a hollow cone with a tube extending from the smaller end and that is designed to catch and direct a downward flow — see büchner funnel

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More from Merriam-Webster on funnel

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for funnel

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with funnel

Spanish Central: Translation of funnel

Nglish: Translation of funnel for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of funnel for Arabic Speakers

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